Welcome to Rohan Guildford from Manager Lorna Owens, Matt, Andy, Claudette and Luke.
Rohan Guildford Address : 224-226 High Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3JD
Shop Phone Number: 01483 546 329
Shop Opening Times:
Directions to our shop: Train – Guildford lies on the main line between Waterloo and Portsmouth, trains run every 20 mins between the two. We are located at the other side of the town to Guildford’s main line train station, however this is a good excuse to take a 10-15 min walk through the town and appreciate the cobbled, historic High Street.
Bus – Guildford is a central station for most of the bus routes in the area. Again the bus station is located at the bottom of the town, with us at the top of the hill, but this is only a 10 min walk away. Alternatively, there is a free shuttle bus that travels around the town from the main station.
Car – Guildford is very accessible from the road, a short trip off the A3 between Portsmouth and the M25 will find you bang in the centre of town. There are car parks dotted throughout the town or park and ride’s at various locations outside the centre.
Foot – What would a Rohan store be if it wasn’t accessible from a picturesque footpath? Walk into Guildford alongside the River Wey Navigation’s or from the fantastic views of the North Downs and you’ll be within moments of the shop.
Rohan Guildford opened in 2005. Located in part of the Georgian building Somerset House, we have a 3 floor palace with one of the largest selling spaces of the company.
Somerset House was built around 1700 for the Duke of Somerset, he used it for his stop overs when travelling between Petworth and London. He was said to be a very arrogant man and the story is told that the furious Duke shouted at a farmer who peered over his garden wall. The farmer disappeared, only to climb back up with his newly bought piglet so they could both look over the wall.
Now the building is split into 3 and we share it with an estate agents offices and Oxfam bookshop. Fantastic original features still exsist today including a grand sweeping staircase, a rustic wooden 1st floor, huge sash windows and high, vaulted ceilings. A fire gutted the 2nd floor in 2006 which exposed the true history of the building. Most the wooden beams in the roof space were 16th century Oak and the interior walls were original lime plaster. These are some of the reasons we didn’t re-open the store until the summer of 2008, all the original features had to be replaced in this grade 2 listed building.
If the above points don’t make you want to come and check out the shop and the building, what will?
The Nearest Parking: The closest (and cheapest!) car park to the store is York Road, or you can park right outside the shop for half an hour costing 70p. If you want to experience more of what Guildford has to offer, park in either Bedford Road (for the main shopping area), Millmead (for the River Wey and theatres) or Milkhouse Gate (for the castle and historic High Street) all within walking distance of the shop. Unfortunately Guildford is not the cheapest place to park in the country but it’s worth it!
Staff Recommendations – Before you see all the culture Guildford’s got to offer, you’re going to need some fuel! Staff recommendations in the town include: Top Table, a great place to get a doorstep sandwich or Jo Clarks, an intimate coffee shop. A short walk down the High Street and Chapel Street will lead you into an array of fantastic eateries.
Local Knowledge – The first thing that springs to mind when talking about Guildford is the history. The cobbled High Street running up from the River Wey is relatively unspoilt and lined by a number of fine buildings. Many of the buildings present a Georgian face to the world, hiding an older core. One of the best examples of this is the Angel Inn, the only remaining coaching inn, with records dating back to the 16th century. Beneath the inn lies a 13th century undercroft. Rooms within the inn are named after people who have reputedly stayed at the Angel – Sir Francis Drake, Oliver Cromwell (billeting of his troops forced the inn into bankruptcy), Lord Nelson and his mistress Lady Emma Hamilton and author Jane Austen.
However Guildford’s most famous building is the the Guildhall, a Tudor building to which a 17th century facade has been added. The most prominent feature is the clock overhanging the street. The date on the clock is 1683, the original inner works were much older (1560?) but over the years as parts have worn these have been replaced. The original bell has since cracked and been replaced by a new one from St Martha’s Church, from neighbouring village Chilworth.
Another interesting building is the Royal Grammar School at the top of the High Street (and it’s only a stone’s throw away from us!). Founded in 1509, the school contains a chained library started with books given to the school by John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich, a native of Guildford. The books include Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World, written whist he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. Also documents from 1598 referring to a match of cricket played by the boys is one of the earliest references to the game. Two models of the earliest cricket bats are on display within the library.
A must see in Guildford is the Castle keep and grounds, especially in the summer when the grounds are groaning with flowers. Although there are no documents about the early years of Guildford castle, it is almost certain that it was built shortly after the Norman conquest of 1066, the only Norman Castle in Surrey. Guildford was an obvious site for a castle as it was the only town in Surrey, apart from Southwark, and is on an important route between London and the south coast and the west of England. Now only the keep and part of the walls remain but from the foot of the keep is one of the best views in Guildford out along the river valley.
Guildford is not only buzzing with history, there is plenty of other things to whet the palette.
Between June and August there is the Summer Festival in and around the town. This includes a bit of everything…Canal boat gatherings, walking tours of Guildford and surrounding areas, book festivals, outdoor theatre and live jazz performances. One of the main events is the music festival ‘Guilfest’, continuously voted the number one family friendly music festival in the UK. Previous years have seen the likes of Madness, Motorhead, Brian Wilson, Status Quo, Will Young, Paul Weller and Alice Cooper all headline the main stage.
We have two fantastic live performance theatres in Guildford, the Yvonne Arnald and Electric Theatre. The Yvonne Arnald is located right on the River Wey with a restaurant you can grab a bite from before the shows start. The Electric Theatre is located on the town wharf also by the river. The theatre is housed inside the old electricity power station, and adjacent to buildings that were home to one of the oldest car manufacturing plants in the country.
Every month there is a famer’s market on the High Street in support of all the local farmers in the area. Produce available include eggs, meats, beer, cheeses, wine and olives.
Guildford has seen a lot of the great literary minds, most interestingly Lewis Carroll. In 1868, a youthful-looking clergyman came to Guildford for the first time. He was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, then aged 36 he was on a house hunting expedition. He was already famous as Lewis Carroll, the author of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, which had been published three years earlier. However, it is unlikely that anyone he met on this visit to Guildford realised who he was. Later that year the Dodgson family had moved into The Chestnuts, near the Castle ruins. Lewis Carroll never actually lived in Guildford. However, his diaries make it clear that he was constantly up and down to Guildford, staying for a few days at a time. When he died of flu in 1897 he was buried in the cemetery on The Mount, with one of the best views of the cathedral and town in Guildford.
That really is scratching the surface, Guildford has a lot more to offer! Vist the Borough Council website for lots more information.